St John's School, Leatherhead Boys-U14A vs Abingdon School
On: Saturday, 14 Jan 2017
Venue: at Home
St John's U14As took on Abingdon in the first game of their season. The boys had impressed during the week and expectations were high; they did not disappoint. The game started competitively, at a high tempo and the sides looked quite evenly matched.
The St John's defence gave their coaches some early jitters through taking too many touches and trying to play it out from the back under pressure from opposing strikers. Thankfully they did not take their chances and the match remained 0-0 for the best part of 25 minutes. The home team's central midfielders worked hard in the middle of the park and began to get the upper hand. Trevitt and Hall showed skill and composure, dominating the midfield battles and distributing some lovely balls out to O'Neil and Anderson on the wings.
Haigh looked dangerous whenever he touched the ball, skipping past defenders at will and threatening with weaving runs.
After 25 minutes Haigh took his chance. Trevitt showed quick feet around edge of box, evading challenges; he played the ball to Haigh who made no mistake in securing the 1-0 lead.
Barely 5 minutes later, Haigh was brought down in the box after another surging run; he stepped up to slot his penalty, firing hard and low into the bottom left hand corner.
St John's were on song and firing on all cylinders. Hall again showed some nifty footwork and let fly from just outside the area, hitting the post. The home team went into half time 2-0 up and seemingly very much in the front seat.
Abingdon were expected to come out all guns blazing but surprisingly sat back and allowed St John's to run at them, which caused them numerous problems. The St John's defence looked more secure in the second half and the captain, Goodman, showed grit and determination in his contests with his opposite man.
5 minutes into the second half, Hall tested the keeper again with a shot from outside the box, which was parried away; Haigh anticipated and was on hand to slot the ball home to complete his hat-trick.
5 minutes from the end, the ball was thread through the middle and flicked on by Anderson into Haigh's path. Again, the striker showed excellent speed and strength to hold off defenders and score his fourth goal of the afternoon.
Unfortunately the home team did not finish with a clean sheet. On the break, one of the Abingdon players saw Wolf off his line and lobbed the keeper from a difficult angle to make the score 4-1.